Regeneration in an Ethiopian montane forest with special emphasis on tree biology and nurse-tree functions

DFG BE 473 - 35/1-2

From 03/2001 to 03/2007

Principal Investigator: Erwin Beck
Staff: Simone Strobl

In the Munessa-Sheshamene region (Ethiopia) several plots of moderately disturbed natural forest and of exotic tree plantations have been investigated with respect to water relations and photosynthetic capacity of selected indigenous and exotic trees. This ongoing work is part of an ecosystem study conducted by soil scientists, geobotanists and plant ecophysiologists that aims at a scientific basis for a sustainable management of the Munessa forest as a model for other semi-deciduous forests of Ethiopia. The work shall be continued in two working packages, one of which will investigate the so-called nurse-tree effect. Juveniles of indigenous trees developing from seeds that accidentally arrived in a plantation of Eucalyptus saligna, E. globulus or Pinus patula grow significantly faster under the shelter of these “nurse-trees” than in a natural forest. This unexpected nurse-tree effect will be studied in plantations with a successful regeneration of indigenous trees. In the second working package, regeneration ecology of important indigenous tree species will be studied, comprising modes of regeneration, regenerative capacity and the effective regeneration success under natural and plantation situations.

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